The first Greek chef with two Michelin Stars
Aggelos Lantos is the first Greek chef with 2 Michelin Stars, a Golden Chef’s Cap and other distinctions in his experience, with his sophisticated high cooking art, evolving and raising the bar in the gastronomic map.
He is a modern and innovative chef who creates his culinary suggestions in one of the best restaurants internationally, in the emblematic restaurant of Athens, Spondi, which is a standard of quality and aesthetics.
Aggelos Lantos, who has a culinary term of over twenty years, after passing through well-known Athenian restaurants such as The House of Mr Pil-Poul and Boschetto, he served, for seven years, as a sous chef of Spondi, a top-class Athenian restaurant one of the 50 best in Europe, where he studied next to Arno Binion. In 2012, when the latter left the restaurant to move to England, Lantos took over the reins of the French restaurant continuing his teacher’s tradition.
Many then believed that Spondi would lose the two Michelin stars it held for ten years. However, with his methodical and creative skills, Lantos managed to maintain them, serving French cuisine in imaginative ways, winning the bet to maintain the distinction that the great Athenian restaurant has received since 2008. At that time, he became the first Greek chef to be awarded two Michelin stars.
With the inspiration and creativity, Aggelos Lantos is the calm power of the Spondi, creating dishes that perfectly match the high-performing technique and the exemplary handling of the raw material to an exciting result making him one of the most important chefs both locally and internationally.
He has the opportunity to use the best raw materials, creating flavors and different textures, always aiming to first excite customers’ eyes and then their taste. His desire is to continuously evolve and to progress his work, which gives him the opportunity for continuous learning.
He decided to pursue a professional career in cooking right after high school, because, for him, it is the art of creation, discovery and constant search. His sources of inspiration are the mental tranquility that makes him more creative and the absolute peace, which helps him think and test what he has in his mind.
What always fascinated him in cooking was the fact that cooks and chefs never cease to be alert, that there is always motivation and mood for evolution, renewal, creation, knowledge. “It is not something static and consistently repetitive, it is a dynamic art that has always translated the classical – with every possible respect – and enriched it with new techniques, bold combinations and pioneering ideas.”
He is open to new challenges and facts and he does not like to use the word “never” since it brakes evolution and imagination. “There is a whole new world of possible flavor combinations that prevents me from saying it.” He does not think he had a specific teacher, but he remembers as teachers all those with whom he has collaborated, either by working together or by participating in seminars and gastronomy festivals. He also does not like to make plans for the future as “They say Man Plans, and God Laughs”.
To the question of whether he feels heavy because of his daily expectations for his work in one of the world’s finest restaurants, he replies that “Of course there is great responsibility, but equally great is the moral satisfaction you receive when you enjoy the appreciation and recognition of people with unquestionable knowledge and prestige in the field of high gastronomy. This recognition is a stimulus and motivation to have first and foremost the same high expectations of yourself. “
In an interview at www.simposio.news, he said:
– What are your favorite scents as far as food is concerned?
“Lately, I am particularly fascinated by the fragrances of the forest. Woody smells, the smell of smoked wood, earthly tensions make a dish very interesting. “
– To a new cook, who has you as an example figure, and dream of acquiring your knowledge, your distinctions, and generally the level of your career, what would be the most useful advice you would give them?
“In a young cook who wants to deal with the particularly demanding area of gastronomy, especially the high, I would recommend that they be committed to their goal and devote much time to training and improving their technique. I would also advise them not to be dazzled by the lights that lately accompany our profession and to realize that inherent talent can only bear fruit through hard work. Recognition is the result of the above. “
– Can you make a prediction for future gastronomic trends?
“The future trend of gastronomy is to ensure the high quality of the raw material. And by high quality, I mean purity and authenticity of raw materials. Ideal for a high-quality gourmet restaurant is to own and manage its own raw material production plants in order to ensure the quality it desires. This is the new international trend. “
– Paul Bocuse had said that “A serious cook never follows the fashions because only modern can become old-fashioned.” Do you agree that fashion does not have a place in the kitchen?
“The top chef meant that in the kitchen there were no materials, technical and bold combinations that had the sole purpose of empty impressing and which were not real inspiration and creation because they would not last for a long time. He did not support a monolithic gastronomy, but he wanted every modernity to have reason to exist, to escape the boundaries of ephemeral fashion, and to enrich the art of gastronomy. In this sense, of course, I fully agree with him. “
– Is there a specific age for the chef to leave their kitchen?
“The area of high gastronomy requires that you spend a lot of personal time in order to have the full supervision of your creation and to ensure the quality you want. Long-term personal engagement and subsequent fatigue, I suppose, is the main factor in getting away from being active. “
– What was the most powerful moment of joy you felt at your job?
“The happiest of my career was when, in 2013, after the first year of being the Chef of the Spondi, the San Pellegrino Taste Guide included Spondi in the 100 best restaurants in the world and of course confirmed for one more year the evaluation of it with two Michelin stars. Since then, I have often experienced similar moments of joy and recognition and I feel really happy. “